What Do People in Spain Eat?

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Spanish cuisine is largely based on local seafood and rice dishes, although there is a very wide variety of other dishes. There are three main divisions: Mediterranean, Inner and Atlantic Spain. Each division has its own unique dishes.

In Mediterranean Spain, it’s common to eat seafood, rice dishes like paella and cold soups like gazpacho. In Inner Spain, thick, hearty soups and stews are common. Castilian soup is a popular option made from bread and garlic. Foods like ham and cheese are often conserved by salting or storing them in olive oil. In Atlantic Spain, cured ham is a popular choice, as well as stews made from local vegetables and seafood. Cod, albacore and anchovies are some of the most frequently eaten fish in this region.

In Spain, it is customary to eat multiple meals throughout the day, with breaks for walking in between. A typical Spanish breakfast consists of strong, frothy coffee, toast with jam or cheese, and hot milk and crackers. Before lunch, Spanish people eat tapas, which are small finger foods. Lunch is the largest meal of the day, and typical items include soup with ingredients such as vegetables, seafood, potatoes, beans, pasta or rice. Bread is always a staple with lunch. Before dinner, common snacks include bread, cured meats, sausages and chocolate. Dinners often include seafood, lamb, chicken, fried potatoes and rice.